U.S. energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for the first time in four weeks, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. said in its closely followed report on April 21.
The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose five to 753 in the week to April 21.
Baker Hughes said that puts the total rig count up 58, or 8%, over this time last year.
Oil rigs rose three to 591 this week, while gas rigs increased two to 159.
U.S. oil futures were down about 3% so far this year after gaining about 7% in 2022. U.S. gas futures, meanwhile, have plunged about 50% so far this year after rising about 20% last year.
Top oilfield firm provider SLB on April 21 lowered its outlook for North American growth this year, with its CEO warning the market could see activity plateau in 2023 due to lower gas prices and capital restraint by private E&P operators.
The drop in gas prices has already caused some exploration and production companies, including Chesapeake Energy Corp., Southwestern Energy Co. and Comstock Resources Inc., to announce plans to reduce production by cutting some gas rigs - especially in the Haynesville shale in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas.
The gas rig count in Haynesville fell this week to 64, its lowest since March 2022, Baker Hughes data showed.
"It is safe to say that we are now witnessing the Haynesville rig releases that are in response to the collapse of natural gas prices since the start of the year," analysts at energy consulting firm Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. said in a note.
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